Archive for June, 2008


Twinkle Toes


Like a football team during a tournament, it’s important not to peak too
early, and teams should not be flat-footed and tired at the end of the
season. Over the last week I am happy to say that it feels like Kyle is on
track. With every run-through over the last few days Kyle’s performance is
getting better and better. So Kyle “Twinkle Toes” Glanville is now ducking
and weaving in his run-throughs like Nick Farr-Jones
( or Tom Brady (for you
American football fans), but there is still room for improvement and to us,
at least, that is a good thing.

We put the call out to our Baristas at the cafe to come and take part in and
help evaluate Kyle’s preparation. It was pitched as an idea that this was
truly a great opportunity to stick it to the man, paybacks for all those
long arduous deflating training session with Kyle.

The call went out and two stepped up to the plate: enter John Hicks (who was
just promoted to Barista at the coffeebar) and Jared Linzmeier (Shift Lead
at the coffeebar). Inconspicuous to some, but given half the chance, like
today, they will tear you to shreds! We sat them down as sensory judges, put
a blank piece of paper in front of them, and let them go.

Jared and John

Mr Nature himself, Jared one of our Baristas

I am now sitting down in front of the PC typing this post and it brings a
smile to my face to hear them still at it. Brain storming and poking fun,
all whilst getting the job done. This is what it’s all about.

Kyle’s coffee has had enough rest so we now have a good idea what it’s about
taste-wise. It has some big notes, it’s pushing some boundaries, and it’s
ultimately delivering on the promise that Kyle found on the cupping table.
It really is special.

Good times.


Post memorial day hangover…


Well, we have had an amazing week gone by though it feels more like a couple of minutes since my last post. Setting up the Los Angeles sight has been an eye opener to say the least and like any start up business we are working out our systems on the fly. So with 15 hour days under our belt unfortunately it leaves very little energy for anything else, including this blog, my apologies. We had three goals for the week: 1) double output, 2) make it happen before the UPS pick up at 4.30pm and 3) do it in only 3 days and down one roaster (for at least one of the days). Being that we were so busy it was great to see everyone on board here pitch in and help. It came down to the wire but somehow we got through it and, more importantly, the coffees were delivered on time.


In saying that, this does not mean that Kyle nor myself were not doing any WBC work over the week gone by. Earlier this week we had a very special and exciting delivery. Kyle has been getting some custom “stuff” built for him, now that they are here it has made our nights in the lab a lot more functional. Everyday we are getting closer to the elusive signature drink preparation, Kyle is using the same sig drink as the USBC but with some very new twists. Last but not least we had the arival of Kyle’s WBC coffees, fresh crop and very exciting to say the least.

Kyles WBC coffees arrive!


I wish you could smell these fresh crop coffees

I had the chance to roast this coffee on the Gothot today, along with my roaster in crime Steven Lee, and to say that we were as excited as two small school kids in a candy store would be an understatment. Expect to hear more about this / these amazing coffees as the build up to the WBC intensifies!



Don’t Leave the Pregnant Woman Behind



The long weekend is upon us, which provides a chance to get out of the warehouse and do some shopping. First on the list: Guitar Center.

I resisted the urge to shred (or should I say “strum” as I am not really a shredder) on a $5000 Martin acoustic guitar and we instead bee-lined for the drum section. We were looking for hard cases that could hold all of Kyle’s gear and were also air-flight approved. Surprisingly, and almost a little too easily, we were able to pick up two cases that were remarkably cheap! Equipped with wheels and tie downs, they were exactly what we were looking for.

As we walked out of the store to Kyle’s car with both cases in hand, I was still thinking about how this all went down so smoothly. It wasn’t until we got close to the car that I started to think about how we were going to get these things into such a small vehicle. The idea of pregnant Deanna walking home wasn’t sitting too well with me, and it was going to be a little awkward pulling out of the car park with her left in the rearview mirror. Thankfully, we managed to squeeze everything in and a wave of relief washed over me. I didn’t want to be the one to tell her to walk home!


I won’t bore you with the details of our trip to the Grove to buy a few more odds and ends at the usual shops. I will instead mention that we roasted two fantastic coffees for the cafe just the other day. If you have read the Black Cat web site, you will know that we have started to do single origin espressos at the cafe. Anjilanaka from Bolivia has made its way on to the menu to a great response. Its intense juice, explosive tropical fruit acidity and cane sugar sweetness are hitting all the right notes. On a personal note it is very nice to have been part of the roasting team that roasts this coffee. I also get the luxury of pulling shots of it at the coffee bar as well. Woo-woo!


Cloak and daggers



Today was shrouded in mystery as we have just received something akin to the America’s Cup Great Winged Keel Controversy of 1983:

N8 guards intelligentsia's latest secret

Something so secretive, not even our own staff was allowed to see the treasure. The extra security around the LA Roasting Works (in the form of N8000, a.k.a. Nate Waters) had everyone on edge. If you get too close, you’ll get busted!

Don't get to close